In the Glittering World
A dance oratorio for four opera soloists, dancers, chamber ensemble and animals
Thierry Pécou / Laura Tohe / Luc Petton



The Navajo Indians’ vision of the world is based on “Hózhó”, a term untranslatable that means at the same time, beauty, harmony with one’s environment and with the universe, health, well-balanced family and social relationships. The Navajo traditional society strives to preserve Hózhó, whose respondents are the medicine persons called on for long and dramatic healing ceremonies, called “Ways”. During a ceremony, which may last up to nine days and nine nights, the mythic past is present, the chants are all pervasive, and, on the ceremonial hogan floor (Navajo traditional dwelling), the medicine person and his assistants compose sophisticated sand paintings, part of the healing process. 

The form of this oratorio will be a free re-creation of a Navajo Way, obviously devoid of any misappropriation, using traditional material as a starting point, and close to the libretto written by Navajo poet Laura Tohe. 

By drawing inspiration from the Navajo Indians’ healing rites, this oratorio sheds light on the link between medicine and social harmony, and between tradition and modernity, within the context of the social and environmental inequalities our civilization is currently faced with. A unique creation that gives shape to a glimmer of hope arising from the successive mythic worlds of the Navajos. Those four worlds address four basic aspects of the human: the mind, the body, the spirit, and the social.

* Nahasdzáán : «Earth» in the Navajo language. Literally «The one who is the woman», or « the feminine-earth». The Glittering World : or the white world, «Nihalgai», 4th or for some people, 5th navajo cosmology world.


Number of people

Libretto Laura Tohe (navajo poet)
Composer Thierry Pécou
Choreographer and director Luc Petton

Soprano - Spider Woman Christie Finn
Contralto - First Woman - Raven Noa Frenkel
Ténor – Coyote - Younger Brother Oliver Brignall
Bass - First Man - Elder Brother - Eagle John Taylor Ward
Two dancers Aurore Godfroy, NN
Animal guides Mélanie Poux, Philippe Hertel and Frédérique Arnaud
Two Lapp owls, a small Mexico eagle, a vulture, a wolf
Orchestra Ensemble Variances (7 musicians)


Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Ensemble Variances, Compagnie Le Guetteur, Théâtre de Caen

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie.